Ambassador to RoK (R) grant an interview to Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)
Seoul (VNA) – 2015 is a successful year for the relations between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK), particularly with breakthroughs in bilateral economic ties, said Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Pham Huu Chi.

The diplomat highlighted several major investment projects of the RoK in Vietnam, bringing the total RoK investment capital in Vietnam to nearly 50 billion USD as of the end of 2015.

Bilateral trade also surged by a year-on-year 23 percent to 36 billion USD despite a downturn in commercial activities around the world in general and in the RoK in particular.

Ambassador Chi noted that the approval of the Vietnam-RoK free trade agreement on December 20, 2015 is expected to open up a new phase in economic cooperation between the two countries.

Cooperation in other fields, from tourism, culture to labour also saw progress, the ambassador said.

He was optimistic that bilateral ties will see stronger growth in 2016, especially with the approval of the FTA. In addition, RoK businesses are increasing their investment in Vietnam in anticipation of opportunities brought about by the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, to which Vietnam is a member.

“Based on those positive trends, the goal of raising bilateral trade turnover to 70 billion USD by 2020 is within reach,” the ambassador said, adding that the target may even be fulfilled ahead of schedule.

Regarding labour cooperation, Ambassador Chi said the embassy has coordinated closely with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to address the problem of overstaying Vietnamese workers in the RoK, paving the way for the re-signing of an MoU on sending more workers to the RoK in the time ahead.

According to the diplomat, the Vietnamese community in the RoK number more than 130,000. He said the community have conducted numerous activities to support each other in life, preserve the national cultural characteristics and help disadvantaged people in their homeland.-VNA